13 Oct 1 Corinthians 11:25-34
25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his
people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”
Why a new covenant? What was the old covenant? (A simple overview)
- A physical Earth covenant between God and His People (Moses, Mount Sinai)
- Required obedience to the law. (every letter / restitution for wrong was dealt with through bloodshed)
- Blessings and cursing were connected to the personal and national ability to perfectly adhere to the covenant.
- It was established by a theophany (God becoming visible to man) – (throughout the Old Testament, God reveals himself to man in different forms – Joshua /Abram)
- Circumcision required as an external sign of covenant
- In a very simple answer to why? The old covenant could not deal with sin.
It had an objective, according to Paul’s teaching in Galatians, which was to be a, “schoolmaster,” revealing man’s inability to follow the Law.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
In essence, God created the Old Covenant as a grace mechanism for man, a tutor, to show mankind how much they needed a better covenant.
Old vs. New
But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.
The New Covenant is better because it is a covenant of the heart intent & spirit.
God came to earth, became man to create it. In our likeness, He would now be able to represent us. Jesus represented humanity, in a pure form, to the Father. Therefore, Jesus had the legal right to represent humanity on an eternal level. His sacrifice is capable of speaking for all.
His blood now speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Interesting idea. Abel’s blood (Genesis) spoke of the need for restitution and revenge. Eye for an Eye…someone died wrongfully, therefore punishment must happen. Abel’s blood, “cried out,” until there was balance brought to the wrong. Jesus’ blood speaks grace and reconciliation. A spotless person was sacrificed as a legal, “stand in,” for all who would be found guilty. His blood spoke, and continues to speak and will speak for eternity. His blood speaks every time sin happens. The power of this covenant is FAR greater. It is a perpetual covenant that is not measured on man’s ability to keep it. It is measured on Jesus’ ability to finish the work of the Cross.
Prophetically, God showed this would happen through His covenant with Abram. In the language of covenant, both parties walk through the sacrificial animal (referring to the Genesis account of Abram’s covenant), thereby declaring, “be it unto me as unto these if I violate the covenant.” Yet, in this moment in Genesis, Abram was never required to walk. God did it all, prophesying, “Be it done to me as unto these, if either of us violates this covenant.”
This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”
So we have a new covenant, confirmed in blood, but Why blood? Is it just symbolism?
This is an illustration In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
Blood is the strength of covenant.
2 Kings 3v27
The King of Moab sacrifices his son.
- In this moment, he turns the tide of a war. Why? Because there is supernatural power in blood sacrifice.
- Jesus, offered by His Father, supernaturally purchased the right to sonship /daughterhood for all people with the blood He shed.
- We are cleansed by His blood. We are brought back into the family, without curse, by His blood.
- In a very real sense, His blood speaks over sin, “forgiven.”
Paul’s Admonition to us…what is on the line?
26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. Be aware of the power of this act. It is supernatural. The very act of Bread and Cup is a declaration of the Gospel. By taking it, we are declaring the events of the Cross and of our Savior’s death. 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,[h] you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.
Paul admonishes the Corinthians that it is possible to wrongfully take the Bread and Cup. That should cause us pause.
The protocol is not perfection or sinlessness. That would be a restating of the Old Covenant.
The protocol is examination and question.
- The root word is a finance term. It means to examine tender. In this way, we understand that to examine ourselves is to consider, “am I offering what is right for this exchange?”
- The only right answer is: 1 for 1. He gets all of me and I get all of him.
- Am I honoring the Body of Christ?
- For this we must look at the Bread and what we learned. Am I aligning with what He purchased for me in His body (sin / health / wholeness)? Am I living in harmony with His Body (division / relationships)
An unworthy manner, therefore, is simply to take this cup without thought, intentionality, and alignment with the meaning.
30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.31 But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
Without any effort to fear-monger, Paul reveals that there is consequence to failing to take the bread and cup correctly.
- weakness in spirit
- sickness in body
- shortened life span
There is a beautiful grace in this. We are protected if we examine ourselves correctly. The correct question is simply, “am I giving all of me?”
Any area the Holy Spirit speaks into we deal with. That simple.
33 So, my dear brothers and sisters,[i] when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. 34 If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.
Wait for each other…
Paul simply declares that they are to be focused on each other, not just on themselves.
That is a great word for us. When we gather, let’s remember our focus: each other. Selfishness is not to be a part of our gatherings. We are here to learn how to love each other.
The Bread and Cup model:
- Be thankful, regardless of your situation
- Remember Jesus. Consider this question: Am I offering to Him an equal sacrifice?
- Am I living in a manner towards others that is appropriate to this sacrifice?